There are not many occasions when IBM has amazed me recently but yesterday that was the case. I attended IBM Connect in Switzerland – organized by the partners Belsoft, Cross Works, GIS, TimeToAct, WebGate and Avnet, probably paid by IBM through co-marketing money, whatever – and I saw Scott Souder for the first time in person.
That man lives a dangerous live.
But first things first. As ever I enjoyed Louis Richardson. At least in his presentation one stays awake. He does not have a clue about technology (say he) and still, every time I know something new about IBMs technology in the end. Which probably is the whole point.
Next thing was Duke Daehling about Kenexa. Interesting, one could say, but I think there is a huge misconception about that search of the best talents. They always forget to say: search for the best talent FOR THIS PARTICULAR JOB. Otherwise we end up in a war for employees with high IQ’s. The point is not to search for the best employees in general, as it might seem if you follow the marketing pitch, it is about finding people to excel in a particular job. Connect job description and people better. Since Duke Deahling is a statistics guy, he should know that in general, your workforce is build from average people and that will not change. Oh yes I know, your company is special and 70% of all drivers think they are above average.
What I also liked was the contribution of Professor Andrea Back from St.Gallen. She talked about measuring the success of a social/collaboration/whatever infrastructure and in short told us, don’t bother too much about it. You soon will realize if it works or not. Too much measuring is for bean counters and can be dangerous and spoil the whole effort. All that depends on the company. A telemarketing company might need to analyse it. Others don’t. But Professor Back knows a lot about social software and uses it. Much more than most generation Y kids I know. Why? It just makes sense to do it. That’s a message many still haven’t got.
Martin Donnelly was certainly a highlight, too. But even though IBM thinks that XPages are a technology on the rise, I can’t get rid of the impression, that it is something for new customers … which are rather rare.
Now back to Scott. First he said we should not Twitter about some things we see, but he said nothing about blogging and he forgot to mention which things. Here we go.
Scott said Notes isn’t going away or in his words, „you have to pry Notes from my cold dead hands“. If that isn’t a statement from a Notes dinosaur, I don’t know what is. Did you know, that he was one of the first twenty people working on Notes at the dawn of history? He really loves that thing. Even his kids make fun of him about using Notes. If IBM ever decides to let go of Notes, they have to remove every sharp object in Scotts vicinity.
What really amazes me, that he is still there. How did he hide from the IBM job carousel?
For all of you who saw Mail Next at Orlando you need an update. I saw the latest design proposals. Most certainly it will not look like anything we have seen until now, but the underlying technology is just amazing and it works … NOW (probably not all of it) and it is there to solve Scotts own email flood. Take that as a motivation. Scott showed his email account with the latest build. Want it. And it is good news for developers. iNotes is a nightmare for developers. Looks like with Mail Next we can actually fiddle around with it.
Not to forget project Hawthorn. That should take the pressure of poor admins, when the new CIO wants Outlook. Give it to them and let them struggle with its shortcomings … ok, cheap shot. It isn’t that bad. The thing is, does Hawthorn solve a problem? One, yes, the Outlook pressure, but today there are many more web mail systems which pose a problem for Microsoft and IBM. Mail Next is one hell of an answer to those.
As for the Notes client. I am much more convinced it will be with us for a long time and when you hear Scott, he is aware that the footprint is just too big. Especially for mobile devices. What is pretty clear, there will be a Notes 9.0.twoish Notes. Next year. After that?
Mail Next in the Notes Client? Would not surprise me but is it worth it? Well, a few years ago I hated web apps, but that has changed. I’d rather take a good web app for my Mac Book, than a slow local client. What about offline? Whenever my internet goes offline I can’t work anyway. Take a book and hope they don’t finish fixing it before the next chapter.
Or what about just once use the time to get something done in peace and quiet.
Now I just have to find out, how to get in the Mail Next Beta … Scott and Louis seem to respond to bribery by Swiss chocolate. Worth a try.
BTW more people should read the book of Anitra Eggler: Email makes stupid, sick and poor (sounds like a lousy translation). That was a) funny and b) I know one or two persons that could benefit from her insights.